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Materia (マテリア, Materia?) is a recurring term and set of items in the Final Fantasy series that is typically associated with stat boosts and abilities, or in some cases, is used as a plot device. Materia is typically crafted into the equipment of the users, and used for boosting their performance. It originates from Final Fantasy VII.
Materia is both a major plot device and the basis for the game's skill system. Divided into several sets—Magic, Command, Summon, Support and Independent Materia—the Materia equipped to party members allows them to use new command or support abilities, and also affects stats. Either the Materia provides percentage-based stat boosts, or it can lower some stats while boosting others in the case of Magic and Summon Materia. Materia can be swapped between party members. Materia placed in linked slots in equipment with a Support Materia grants additional effects to the skills in the paired Materia. Materia grows by gaining AP from battle.
Materia would go on to be a key recurring feature in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
The sole playable character Zack has limited Materia slots and Summon Materia can only be utilized via the Digital Mind Wave system. As a SOLDIER, Zack can make use of the Materia Fusion system provided by his employer, the Shinra Electric Power Company, to create unique Materia and grant stat boosts to them.
People have stopped using Materia, but Cloud Strife keeps a chest of Materia at the Sector 5 Church until they are stolen by the Remnants of Sephiroth, who implant the Materia into their bodies to boost their battle capabilities. Kadaj also uses a Materia to summon Bahamut SIN.
The color of Materia do not correspond to the colors seen in the Final Fantasy VII related games, indicating the coloring system in the games is mainly for gameplay purposes.
Materia was a crafting system introduced in the original Final Fantasy XIV early, but made a bigger return with an overhaul in A Realm Reborn. It functions very differently from Materia in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, as it does not provide any command abilities and is strictly stat boosts, in addition to being acquired differently. It allows the players to upgrade equipment by converting undesired equipment into Materia. The user must have achieved a full spiritbond with the equipment before. Any crafting class can then meld the Materia with another piece of equipment to boost its stats.
Materia means "matter" or "substance" in Latin. It also means "subject" or "matter" in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.